Studio Visit: Tracey Adams

Tracey Adams is an artist working in California. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's July 2016 exhibition as well as traceyadamsart.com. 

Please describe your work.
I've been a working artist for over 30 years, both in printmaking and painting. I use a variety of media, from encaustic/oil in painting and monotypes to intaglio to collage and drawing materials. My work is abstract, minimal and is currently gestural and organic. I like to say that I work on a continuum from gesture to geometry and everything in between, a fusion of the two. I prefer not to be labeled as one or the other, but because I'm restless and want to keep things as fresh as possible, I like having the freedom to move in either direction as the materials and piece dictate.

What external and/or internal motivations guide your formal and conceptual choices?
I use a variety of media and love experimenting by combining materials. I live by the ocean and that beauty has been a source of inspiration and motivation for many years. Currently, I'm working on a project based on an interview and subsequent meetings with Dr. Roger Linington, a former chemistry professor at UC Santa Cruz. His focus and interests are medicines from the sea, flora and fauna that have potential healing qualities. In addition to my interest in science/nature, I hold degrees in music, manifesting in my use of patterns and mark-making. While I enjoy the freedom to experiment, I am a formalist whose work is devoid of narrative qualities. Beauty and balance are first and foremost and I strive for that in all that I do.

What inspires you and keeps you going back to the studio?
As mentioned above, inspiration comes from nature, including the ocean, and music. I'm very disciplined in my studio practice and have been doing yoga for many years. This discipline serves me well as an artist, especially when things aren't going well in the studio. I'm never concerned that I won't have anything to say visually - there's a lifetime of projects deep within me and because I work with so many different materials and processes, I'm never bored or at a loss. That isn't to say I don't have terrific challenges or problems to solve in my paintings. I love drawing and try to do that every day, even if I'm on a tight schedule. The drawings are a jumping off point for paintings. There's always something I can do even if I'm not "inspired". The creative process shows up in all that I love and do.